In December 2002, the Food and Drug Regulations were amended to make nutrition labelling mandatory on most food labels, update requirements for nutrient content claims, and permit the use of diet-related health claims on foods. As a result, nutrition labelling became mandatory for most prepackaged foods in December 2005, with smaller businesses having until December 2007 to comply with the new regulations.
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Regulatory Proposal - May 7, 2005
On May 7, 2005, additional amendments were proposed in order to bring more flexibility to the regulatory framework, clarify the intent of these requirements, correct inconsistencies between labelling provisions, and address items that were not included in the previous amendments. These proposed amendments are not expected to have a significant impact on labels that have already been brought into compliance, since most of the amendments would either give more flexibility to the requirements or would not change their intent.
While it is Health Canada that developed the nutrition labelling regulations, it is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that is responsible for the enforcement of these regulations. In collaboration with Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has developed many tools to assist industry in complying with the new regulations, including Frequently Asked Questions, the 2003 Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising, the Compendium of Templates for Nutrition Facts Tables, the Nutrition Labelling Compliance Test.
For additional information, please refer to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's Nutrition Labelling, Nutrition Claims and Health Claims web page.
Health Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, has prepared the Guide to Developing Accurate Nutrient Values to assist the food industry, private laboratories, academia, health professionals and government agencies in developing accurate nutrient values for a variety of purposes, including nutrition labelling.
A number of laboratory methods have been developed by Health Canada for nutrient content analysis.
Those interested in nutrition policy and regulations should join the NUTSCI mailing list